This article appeared in the May 2002 web issue of Horticulture Update,
edited by Dr. William C. Welch, and produced by Extension Horticulture,
Texas Cooperative Extension, The Texas A&M University System, College Station, Texas.

Garden Checklist for May, 2002

By Dr. William C. Welch, Landscape Horticulturist
Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

  • Cut off old blossoms on spring flowering annuals, such as pansies, snapdragons, stock and calendulas, to prolong the flowering season.

  • Continue to fertilize roses every four to six weeks with small amounts of a balanced fertilizer.

  • Allow foliage of spring flowering bulbs to mature and yellow before removing.

  • Set out plants of hybrid portulaca (purslane) in sunny areas. Make rooted cuttings of your favorite colors by placing 3 to 4 inch stems in moist, sandy soils.

    Click on picture to see larger image

  • It is not too late to sow directly into the soil seeds of sunflower, zinnia, morning glory, portulaca, marigold, cosmos, periwinkles and gourds. Achimenes, cannas, dahlias and other summer flowering bulbs can also be planted in May.

  • Pinch back the terminal growth on newly planted annual and perennial plants. This will result in shorter, more compact, better branched plants with more flowers.

  • Plant caladium tubers, petunias, impatiens, begonias and torenias in well prepared shady areas.

  • Make cuttings of your favorite chrysanthemums and root them in a mixture of sand and peat moss. Cover cutting box with plastic and place in shaded area for 5 to 6 days to prevent wilting.

  • Replace or replenish mulch materials in flower beds and shrub borders to conserve moisture and reduce weed growth.

  • Remove or cut back frost-damaged crape myrtle and other ornamentals as soon as the extent of the injury can be determined.